The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the trial launch of E-Verify+, an advanced product to streamline the process for employers to verify the employment eligibility of newly hired workers. Through this process, employees will receive a link to complete the Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) directly through E-Verify in one experience. A select group of users are testing E-Verify+ to assess and provide feedback in an effort to ensure the best possible product is available when it is released for wider use later this year.

Continue Reading DHS Joins the “Plus” Trend; Launches Trial E-Verify+ Program

Effective August 1, 2024, Israel will require travelers from visa exempt countries to obtain an electronic travel authorization before departing for the country. Travelers applying for the authorization—known as ETA-IL—will receive a reply within 24-72 hours, and if their application is approved, will be allowed to enter Israel for business visits and tourism for up to ninety days at a time. The ETA-IL will remain valid for multiple entries over a two-year period or until the traveler’s passport expires, whichever is sooner. The ETA-IL system opened as a voluntary pilot program for U.S. and German passport holders on June 1 and will open to all other visa exempt nationals on July 1. Israel’s introduction of the ETA-IL system comes as the European Union seeks to implement its own electronic travel authorization scheme for visa exempt nationals, which is expected to launch in 2025.

Continue Reading Israel Introduces Electronic Travel Authorization Requirement

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) recently extended the allowable duration for Japanese language and culture specialists under the J-1 visa classification from one year to three years. The initiative aims to enhance cultural exchanges and strengthen educational ties between Japan and the United States.[1]

Continue Reading A Longer Welcome: US Extends Stay for Japanese Specialists to Three Years

The European Commission has adopted a new set of rules that enable Indian, Saudi, Bahraini, and Omani nationals to obtain short-stay Schengen visas with longer validity periods. Under the new rules, Indian nationals may be eligible for two- and five-year multiple entry visas, based on their travel history. Saudi, Bahraini, and Omani nationals residing in their respective home countries are now eligible for five-year multiple entry visas. The expansion of visa validity periods reflects the EU’s determination that these nationals pose low migratory and security risks. The moves are expected to facilitate travel to Europe by reducing the frequency with which qualified nationals must apply for new short-stay visas.  

Continue Reading EU Opens New Schengen Visa Options for Indian and Middle Eastern Nationals

In a significant development, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is taking steps to prevent certain applicants from experiencing a lapse in employment authorization while their renewal requests remain pending. The agency is temporarily increasing the automatic extension period from a maximum of 180 days to 540 days from the expiration date stated on the work permit.[1] The agency estimates that the update will safeguard more than $29 billion in employee earnings while saving US employers more than $5 billion in labor turnover costs.

A large population will benefit from the automatic extensions, including individuals with pending adjustment of status applications (green card applications); certain spouses of E, H, and L nonimmigrants; asylum seekers with pending applications; as well as many others.[2] The rule is expected to reduce gaps in these individuals’ employment authorization and thereby protect employers’ continuity of operations and financial stability by avoiding labor turnover and replacement costs.

Continue Reading More Time on the Clock: DHS Extends Work Authorization Amid Processing Delays

On April 1, 2024, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) implemented new costs for many common immigration filings, resulting in a fee increase of 100% to 200% for certain visa categories including those utilized by US employers. In this Legal Update, we examine some of these new fees, the impact of the fee increase on USCIS and on US employers, and key takeaways.

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New Immigration Rules came into force in the UK on 4 April 2024 which affect employers who sponsor workers under the Skilled worker or Global Business Mobility: Senior or Specialist Worker routes.

Continue Reading Raising The Bar: New UK Immigration Rules Increase Salary Thresholds For Sponsored Workers

Hong Kong has introduced a new and revamped Capital Investment Entrant Scheme (New CIES) aimed at enriching the talent pool and attracting more new capital to Hong Kong. Under the New CIES, foreign investors may be granted residency permission in Hong Kong (with a pathway to permanent residency) based on a qualifying investment in Permissible Investment Assets of not less than HK$30 million. In this Legal Update, Mayer Brown attorneys Eugene Y. C. Wong, Helen Wang, and Stephanie S. K. Lam discuss the New CIES Rules, including personal eligibility and net asset requirements, types of permissible investment assets, and portfolio maintenance requirements.  Hong Kong now rejoins a number of jurisdictions, including the United States and the United Kingdom, that offer investment-based visas, both temporary and permanent, to foreign investors and high net worth individuals.

Effective February 29, 2024, the Canadian government has reimposed visa requirements on certain Mexican nationals. Under the new rule, Mexican nationals traveling by air who hold a U.S. nonimmigrant visa or have held a Canadian visa within the past ten years will be eligible to apply for electronic travel authorization (eTA) to visit Canada. Mexican nationals who do not meet those requirements will need to apply for a Canadian visitor visa. Canada had previously lifted visa requirements for Mexican nationals in 2016.

Continue Reading Canada Updates Entry Requirements for Mexican Nationals

On January 1, 2024, the South Korean government launched a pilot program for digital nomad (or “workation”) visas. The pilot program will allow foreign nationals who work remotely for overseas corporations to live and work in South Korea for up to two years. With the introduction of the pilot program, South Korea joins several other countries – including Spain, Italy, Romania, Iceland, the United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia – in seeking to attract an increasingly mobile class of global talent through digital nomad visas.

Continue Reading South Korea Opens Pilot Program for Digital Nomad Visa